Budget Woes Stalls India's Rafale Purchase Until Next Year

  • Our Bureau
  • 04:07 PM, February 6, 2014
  • 2515

India will not sign a $20 billion deal to acquire fighter jets for the Indian Air Force till the next fiscal year, Defence Minister A.K. Antony confirmed today, indicating it would be left to the next government to finalize the purchase.

“It has to wait for the next financial year starting 1 April,” Antony was quoted as saying by Livemint.

India does not have the budget to buy the jets, Antony said. “Ninety-two per cent of our budget has already been used, with only 8% left,” he said.

India in January 2012 decided to buy 126 Rafale fighter jets from France’s Dassault Aviation after an extensive auction process, but the discussions have been delayed over various issues. In October, Reuters reported the deal was to be finalized by March.

Another reason for the delay in the award of the contract relates to life cycle costs. “MMRCA (medium multi-role combat aircraft) will materialize, only that (it will) not (in) this financial year but next financial year,” Antony said when asked if the government would buy Russian Sukhoi jets if the Rafale deal does not go through. “The negotiations on life cycle costs are continuing. I hope we are able to close it in next financial year.”

India is likely to hold its national election in April-May and since the election code of conduct is expected to kick-in by early March the deal is unlikely to be signed by the present government. No major policy or contracts can be announced 45 days before an election.

Also Read

Rafale Flies In Heavily-Armed Configuration

January 23, 2014 @ 01:38 PM

Will Rafale F3R Upgrade Impact Indian MMRCA Procurement?

January 13, 2014 @ 01:46 PM

Dassault Wins 1 Billion Euros Rafale F3 R Contract

January 10, 2014 @ 04:16 PM

IAF Resume Negotiations On Rafale Deal

December 12, 2013 @ 09:50 AM

India To Sign 126 Rafale Deal Before March ’14: IAF Deputy Chief

October 18, 2013 @ 02:45 PM

Rafale Fighter Deal Talks Further Delayed With Indian Negotiator's Death

October 3, 2013 @ 02:25 PM

India Raises Defense FDI to 49%, to Speed Up Procurement

July 10, 2014 @ 11:53 AM

Qatar To Procure Dassault Rafale Aircraft?

May 28, 2014 @ 02:11 PM

Rafale, Su-30MKI Face-off in Indian Exercise

May 21, 2014 @ 01:49 PM

Sweden To Hike Defense Budget Over Ukraine Crisis

April 24, 2014 @ 10:54 AM

Rafale Capable Of Meeting Qatar’s Needs, Says Dassault Official

April 1, 2014 @ 11:14 AM

India, France Agree On Rafale Work Share

March 3, 2014 @ 03:54 PM
FEATURES/INTERVIEWS